PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: Learning about faith begins at home

This issue of “More Good News” identifies the wonderful gift of our parish Faith Formation team and the awesome volunteer catechists who regularly share their faith and love for the church with the children and young people.

Of course, the church reminds us that the first “school” for religion and upright living is the home. Parents and/or guardians are the most-important and longest-lasting influence on these young people. The home setting is the “domestic” church, any way you look at it.

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has said, “When families bring children into the world, train them in the ways of faith and sound values and teach them to contribute to society, they become a blessing in our world.”

Parents, grandparents and godparents have a holy duty to encourage and promote our precious faith by word and good example. An older priest once said that on the final exam standing before Jesus, just one question for those raising children will be, “Did you do your duty spiritually?”

Everything our children witness is forming them. What we do will either lead them to know what is right and good or teach them that it’s perfectly fine to make hurtful, immoral or other decisions that do not honor God.

When it comes to teaching and promoting our faith, there are so many openings, or portals, available. For
example, online web sites and programs can be edifying and amazing sources for lifting and imaginations to the higher things. Unfortunately, also available is much evil, violence and that which simply is a waste of time.

Every Catholic parish is deeply grateful for those who make time and put in so much effort to teach those in our care, but we must not forget that all of us, no matter our stage in life, are invited to share faith — not make it a private possession unto ourselves.

Recent statistics show 70 percent of Catholics who attend weekend Mass are not engaged in any other part of parish life. Just imagine what might happen if many, many more among us also became engaged in teaching and sharing faith with family and friends in parish programs.

May Christ the Lord and best teacher of us all truly bless our volunteer faith teachers and their families.